Reflective Practice for Educators
Improving Schooling Through Professional Development
Karen F. Osterman Robert B. Kottkamp
CORWIN PRESS, INC.
A Sage Publications Company Newbury Park, California
Copywright © 1993 by Corwin Press, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information address: Corwin Press, Inc. A Sage Publications Company 2455 Teller Road Newbury Park, California 91320 SAGE Publications Ltd. 6 Bonhill Street London EC2A 4PU United Kingdom SAGE Publications India Pvt. Ltd. M-32 Market Greater Kailash I New Delhi 110 048 India Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Osterman, Karen F. Reflective practice for educators: improving schooling though professional development I Karen F. Osterman, Robert B. Kottkamp. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 0-8039-6046-8. —ISBN 0-8039-6047-6 (pbk.) 1. Teachers—In-service training—United States. 2. School administrators—In-service training—United States. 3. School improvement programs—United States. 4. Learning. 5. Teaching. I. Kottkamp, Robert B. II. Title. LB1731.078 1993 371.1 ‘46—dc2O 92-37083 The paper in this book meets the specifications for permanence of the American National Standards Institute and the National Association of State Textbook Administrators. 93 94 95 96 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Corwin Press Production Editor: Tara S. Mead
Preface About the Authors 1. 2. 3. 4. Reflective Practice: A Powerful Force for Educational Change Rethinking Professional Development How to Nurture Reflection Developing a Reflective Perspective: Gathering Information The Process in Practice: Preparing Reflective Administrators A Reflective Approach to Principal Renewal School Leaders Engaging in Reflection: A Stimulus to Systemic Change An Empowering Process References
5. 6. 7.
Rethinking Professional Development
In Chapter 1, we examined reflective practice through a wide-angle lens. The subject was a conceptual framework for understanding individual and organizational stability and change and the promise of reflective practice as a means of facilitating significant change. In this chapter, we narrow the lens angle to focus more directly on reflective practice as a process of professional development. The subject is formal professional development because, while reflective practice may take place in any situation, it is almost always learned in a formal learning setting of one kind or another—and our purpose in writing is to encourage the development and nurture of such learning opportunities. The first part of this chapter describes reflective practice as a professional development process: What does it look like? How does it begin? The second part of the chapter contrasts this mode of professional development with more traditional approaches focusing on differences in assumptions, content, and processes.
Defining Reflective Practice
Reflective practice, while often confused with reflection, is neither a solitary nor a relaxed meditative process. To the contrary, reflective practice is a challenging, demanding, and often trying process that is most successful as a collaborative effort. Although the term reflective practice is interpreted and understood in different ways,1 within our discussion, reflective practice is viewed as a means by which practitioners can develop a greater level of self-awareness about the nature and impact of their performance, an awareness that creates opportunities for professional growth and development. As explained in Chapter 1, awareness is essential for behavioral change. To gain a new level of insight into personal behavior, the reflective practitioner assumes a...
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